ON THE SHELF: ‘I always feel like somebody’s watching me’ — Read, that is

Published 4:00 am Sunday, October 16, 2022

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week’s column features suspense novels from our New Adult Fiction collection.

Author Martin Clark delivers a fast-paced legal thriller with his book “The Substitution Order.” Kevin Moore was a superstar attorney with a promising career until one summer a series of unfortunate circumstances left him disbarred and separated from his wife. In desperate need of cash and a job, Kevin takes a job at SUBstitution, possibly the world’s most pathetic sandwich shop. His only friends are a rambunctious rescue puppy and the 20-year-old computer whiz who mans the counter next to him. Kevin is determined to set his life right, but he can’t seem to catch a break. He receives a visit from a mysterious stranger who wanders into the shop offering him a shot at a multimillion-dollar scam. Truth be told, it’s more of a threat than an invitation. Kevin is going to need every bit of his legal knowledge just to stay out of prison.

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Susan Elia MacNeal sets her novel “Mother Daughter Traitor Spy” in the hot summer of 1940 in Los Angeles. Even though France has fallen to the Nazis, many Americans think of the war as something that is happening “over there.” Veronica Grace has just graduated from college and she and her mother, Violet, are looking for a fresh start in Los Angeles. Veronica lost out on a prestigious job in New York, but in L.A., she finds a typing job but soon realizes that she is working for one of the area’s most depraved propagandists. Almost overnight, Veronica is exposed to the seedy underbelly of German Nazis recruiting Americans for their horrendous campaign. When the FBI dismisses Veronica and Violet’s concerns, they decide to go to an old friend for advice and are introduced to L.A.’s anti-Nazi spymaster. The women are immediately sent undercover to gather enough information about the California Reich to take to the authorities. Then, Pearl Harbor is attacked, and President Roosevelt declares war. The Grace women realize the plot they are investigating is far more sinister than they feared — and a single misstep could get them killed.

“The Girl from Guernica” is the latest from bestselling author Karen Robards. One day in April of 1937, the sky opens and fire rains down on the small town of Guernica, Spain. Seventeen-year-old Sibi and her family are caught up in the horror, but Sibi is pulled from the rubble by Griff — an American military attaché. Germany insists that it was the Spanish Republic, not the Nazis that bombed the small town. Griff tells Sibi to lie to Nazi officials because he knows that if she or her sisters reveal they saw planes bearing swastikas, they would be permanently silenced by the Gestapo. As the war begins to rage across Europe, Sibi joins the underground resistance, sharing information with Griff. Her façade of Nazi sympathizer becomes harder to maintain, however, as she learns more and more about the scope of the Third Reich’s plans. As she is drawn deeper into a web of secrets, Sibi will have to outwit the enemy that threatens to exterminate her family.

Paul Theroux delivers a riveting tale of adventure, betrayal, and the cost of family bonds in his latest novel, “The Bad Angel Brothers.” Cal has always lived in the shadow of his manipulative and tyrannical brother, Frank, who was favored by his mother and fawned over by all the girls in their small New England hometown — including Cal’s own girlfriends. In order to get away from Frank’s insidious presence, Cal decides to see the world and begins prospecting for gold and precious minerals from the desert on the Mexican border to the Alaskan chill, to central Africa and the mines of Columbia, which is where he meets the love of his life, Vida. Soon, he is extremely wealthy, but the money doesn’t mean as much to him as his independence. Frank, on the other hand, believes that “Cash is king.” As Cal’s success grows, so does Frank’s power and influence over his younger brother’s affairs. When Frank decides to commit the ultimate betrayal, Cal can only think of one, final solution.

The latest entry in Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan novels is called “Captive.” Eve Duncan’s daughter Jane MacGuire seems to have found a good life with her partner, Seth Caleb. Jane is glowing in her domestic bliss and focusing on her art while Seth puts his abilities to work as an agent for the MI6 intelligence service. Until Seth crosses paths with crime lord Hugh Bohdan and his powerful, wide-reaching criminal empire. This includes the idyllic Scottish retreat where Jane is working. Soon, she finds herself on the run, struggling to stay ahead of Bohdan’s thugs and their high-tech weaponry. Even with all the danger, Jane and Seth make an incredible discovery: a 200-year-old secret that is on the brink of becoming lost to history. As the two join forces to unlock the puzzle, they are simultaneously heading for a showdown in the Highlands. But before their adventure is over, Jane and Seth will get the biggest shock of all — one that will change their lives forever.

The latest novel by C.J. Box featuring private investigator Cassie Dewell is called “Treasure State.” Cassie’s P.I. business is thriving, and her latest case puts her on the hunt for a sly con man who has disappeared somewhere into the “treasure state.” A wealthy Floridian widow has hired Cassie to recover the money the con man took from her. The trail leads her to Anaconda, Montana — an unconventional former copper mining town that seems the perfect place to reinvent yourself. Cassie also starts to think that her client isn’t telling her everything. On top of all this, she is also working on one of the strangest assignments ever. A poem that promises buried treasure to a lucky adventurer has led to a vicious competition that has led to five deaths among treasure hunters. Cassie’s client doesn’t want the treasure. In fact, he claims to have buried the treasure and written the poem and he’s hired Cassie to find him.